Camera lens belonging to Julia Margaret Cameron

Photographic Lenses
1840-1860 (made)
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F
Place Of Origin

Cylindrical camera lens made of brass and glass with one large knob protruding from the side and another smaller nob on top.

object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Brass, metal and glass
Brief Description
Petzval type camera lens made by Jamin of Paris belonging to Julia Margaret Cameron
Physical Description
Cylindrical camera lens made of brass and glass with one large knob protruding from the side and another smaller nob on top.
  • Height: 14cm
  • Depth: 14cm
  • Length: 30cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'JAMIN / PARIS / J A L P[?]' (engraved on brass tube)
  • 'H or T O P'
Credit line
The Royal Photographic Society Collection at the V&A, acquired with the generous assistance of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Art Fund.
Object history
The Jamin lens consisted of two separate groups of elements. It had rack and pinion focussing and a fixed aperture of f 3.6, a design invented by the Hungarian mathematician Joseph Max Petzval in 1840.

Brusius, Mirjam (2010). 'Impreciseness in Julia Margaret Cameron's Portrait Photographs', History of Photography, 34:4, 342-355.

It is known that the Jamin lens was given to the RPS by Alvin Landon Coburn.

Harrison, Graham. 'Julia Margaret Cameron and Britain's Photographic Heritage', Photo Histories, 19 April 2017

Other Numbers
  • 2003-5001-1-4 - Science Museum Group accession number
  • 1929-174 - Royal Photographic Society number
  • 0410 - Royal Photographic Society number
Accession Number

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record createdSeptember 8, 2017
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